"And what exactly is a Lemanotto Christmas?" you ask. A beautiful one of feeling loved, accepted and included. Of feeling part of a bigger whole. Rob and I had Christmas dinner and family time at his ex's Judy's house with their 'kids' (my step-kids...the youngest, Carole, 31 the same age as Dane) and the grandkids. Especially special as Crystal, my eldest stepdaughter, was in town from southern Ontario with her daughter Maddie. Nineteen of us in total, just under half were kids ten and under. Noise and chaos. Laughter and plentiful, delicious food. Pockets of calm and special moments.
In addition to the gift of donating meals to Shelter House on our behalf, Carole also gave everyone a sports shirt (everyone even the tiniest child) which she had printed with the name Lemanotto on front. Lemanotto, a combination of the three older surnames in the family, something we had discussed previously, a while back, I think maybe even while Dane was in town. The surnames? Lem (Rob's last name), Stefanato (Jack and Judy's last name) and Blott (mine). It was fun and prompted photos. Interestingly, it also prompted us to really look at who we were talking to as everyone looked similar. The magic of the moment meant even more on reflection and I chose to wear my shirt all day the next day too even though on Boxing Day it was just Rob and I having a very lazy day of togetherness at home. On a year when I could have felt a little adrift with Dad as well as Dane being away, I felt anything but. Life is full of delightful surprises.
Surprises on Christmas Eve were not quite so delightful. After my shower, while Rob was at work, I went down to the basement freezer and discovered a sewer backup. Not too much: the wet vac came in handy on a few puddles but otherwise it was mainly spread about the concrete floor. Fortunately not too much raw sewer--it had obviously just started to back up. Certainly not part of my Christmas Eve plans. But I called a plumber who came out within the hour and routered (right word?) the drain, pulled out some roots from my trees out front. Fortunately his auger wasn't as large as the person I'd had previously (I cannot write that without it taking a dirty turn in my mind!) so I didn't have to move an awful lot of stuff like we usually have to do. And I dealt with it. And promptly. Neither of those things are my strengths so I was especially proud of myself. During this I was texting with Dane and messaging with Fran. Fran said, "Well at least your day won't get worse." When I went out back to feed the birds, I discovered a dead mouse...actually quite big, I worried that it might have been a rat. This I didn't deal with, figuring something might devour it through the night. Rob dealt with it the next day. The rest of Christmas Eve was delightfully quiet and uneventful!
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to arrive home just after 7am after a midnight shift before a major snowstorm with high winds really took hold. By the time we were to go to my friend's Val's for dinner, the snow had been so persistent and heavy with major winds that it had drifted past my knees at some points. Rob and I would have wimped out on driving to Val's for dinner but her hubby Maurice offered to come and pick us up in his truck after he had picked up Val's mom. When he arrived, Rob and I were halfway through shoveling the driveway, so we dropped our shovels and headed out for a lovely relaxing evening and delicious dinner. Rob has to work today so we knew we were returning home to finish shoveling our driveway last night. But when Maurice dropped us off, a kind neighbour had already snowblowed our driveway. The spirit of Christmas lives.
I know of several people for whom this Christmas was a sad one, a day to get through more than anything else. So much hype about one day can create a deeper abyss of sadness. Emotions of any sort seem heightened at Christmas. My heart goes out to anyone who found this day, this season a struggle this year. I hope your Christmas was a good one...tolerable if nothing else. A fresh new year full of possibilities sits on the horizon.
May you experience the spirit of Christmas year round.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.